To his fans, the Italian cyclist Marco Pantani was “Il Pirata” (the pirate), because of his aggressive racing moves and his personal style, which included a bandanna, shaved head, and earrings. He won both the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia in 1998, but his career was dogged by controversy, and he died of a cocaine overdose in 2004, at the age of 34.
But was it an accident? The cycling site Road.cc reports that an Italian publisher has put out a graphic novel, titled Gli Ultimi Giorni di Marco Pantani [The Last Days of Marco Pantani], that explores the possibility that Pantani was murdered, a theory that advocated by his friend, the French journalist Philippe Brunel. Regardless of the truth of the matter (and conventional wisdom doesn’t seem to go Brunel’s way), the graphic novel looks like it would be worth having just for the art; the script, Marco Rizzo, is in Italian, but Lelio Bonaccorso’s ink-and-wash art, which you can see in this 18-page preview, is very nice indeed.
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